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New state laws for the new year ADVERTISEMENT

New state laws for the new year

NEW YORK--Here's a look at some--but not all--of the new laws coming into effect in 2019.
-- The Minimum Wage
As 2019 begins, minimum-wage employees across the state can look forward to bigger paychecks.
The biggest increase will be in New York City, where employees working at companies with more than 10 workers (for example, fast-food spots) will have their lowest legal pay rate rise by $2 to $15 an hour.
Employees at smaller companies in the city will get a raise of $1.50, to $13.50 an hour. In Westchester County and Long Island, rates go from $11 to $12, and they're rising from $10.40 to $11.10 in the rest of the state.
The wage hikes have put New York in the midst of a movement to raise minimum wages across the United States. The federally mandated rate is currently $7.25.
-- Changing Tables
A reminder for New York parents on diaper duty: A law that goes into effect will require wider access to changing tables.
The bill, which was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in April, will ensure that new and renovated buildings with public bathrooms have changing tables in both men's and women's restrooms.
Under the legislation, at least one changing table must be accessible to both genders on each floor.
Previously, state law had not required changing tables in public bathrooms. In a statement announcing the new law in April, Cuomo's office said that changing tables, when available, were disproportionately only available in women's rooms.
-- Paid Family Leave
Under the New York State Paid Family Leave Act, which the governor signed in 2016, workers will now get 10 weeks of paid time off to bond with a newborn, adopted or fostered child; to care for family members with serious health conditions; or to address issues related to a family member's military deployment.
The law is part of a gradual increase in salaried time off that began in 2018, when workers were eligible for eight weeks of paid family leave.
The increases will end in 2021, when New York residents will get 12 weeks of paid family leave.
MICHAEL GOLD | New York Times News Service

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